Alan Jackson has collaborated with daughter Mattie Jackson Selecman on a new song that’s being released today (November 16) in conjunction with her first book.
“Racing the Dark,” co-written by the father and daughter and recorded by the Country Music Hall of Famer, is available now – the same day that Selecman’s Lemons on Friday (Thomas Nelson/W Publishing Group) arrives everywhere books are sold. In the humble and inspiring book, Selecman shares her journey of facing the most heartbreaking loss of her life – the sudden and tragic passing of her husband Ben from a traumatic brain injury just 11 months into their marriage.
“I’m really surprised how well she was able to handle all that. I know I couldn’t have done what she’s done,” Jackson says. “One day she came to me with this piece of paper and said, ‘I wrote this song…the lyrics,’ and asked me to put it to music. So, I wrote the melody for it, and it turned out to be a very sweet song.”
In addition to the companion song, Lemons on Friday features a foreword by Alan and wife Denise Jackson, a New York Timesbest-selling author herself. The couple details their perspective of Mattie’s love story, the pain she faced, and the renewed hope they see in her.
In Lemons on Friday, Selecman carries readers through the early weeks of her grief and the many questions that followed. She also touches on how, through her pain, she found new purpose in NaSHEville, a company she co-founded that benefits orphans, human trafficking victims and widows.
“Racing the Dark” marks the first songwriting collaboration by Jackson and his oldest daughter, but she – and her sisters – have been the inspiration behind several of his songs. His most recent album, Where Have You Gone (released in May) featured two songs written for his daughters’ weddings – “You’ll Always Be My Baby” and “I Do.” Mattie and her siblings also came to life in such classics as “Drive (for Daddy Gene),” “Remember When” and the fan-favorite “Job Description.”
“It’s a beautiful song. And it’s well-written, lyrically,” Jackson says. “She told a little more of her story in it…so I’m anxious for my fans to get to hear this.” “Racing the Dark” is streaming now; a special lyric video can be viewed HERE. Selecman appeared earlier today (November 16) on NBC’s TODAY, where she was interviewed by Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager about Lemons on Friday – watch HERE.